Spring pasta alla carbonara, minus the bacon (how's that for a name?)
enough for 1 lb of pasta
1 lb long pasta such as spaghetti or linguine
1/2 lb asparagus spears (the thicker the better)
3 cloves garlic
1 C (approximately) finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese (depending on your tastes and what's available)
juice of 1/2 lemon
fresh ground black pepper
3 T extra virgin olive oil
- Heat the oven to 200°F and place a large oven safe serving bowl in the oven.
- Cook the pasta to al dente, reserving about 1/2~3/4 C of pasta water.
- Prepare the asparagus by snapping off the tough end of one or two spears then trimming the rest to the same length. Peel the last inch or the skin off to eliminate stringy ends. Line up the asparagus and cut into 2 inch pieces.
- Slice 2 of the garlic cloves very thin. In a large skillet, pour 1 T olive oil and bring to medium high heat. Place the asparagus in the skillet, sprinkle with salt, and saute until the skin starts to wrinkle a little and brown in some spots. Add the garlic slices, and bring the heat to medium. Continue to let cook, tossing occasionally, until garlic is very frangrant and the asparagus is tender. Add the remaining olive oil and set aside.
- Grate the remaining clove of garlic. Then in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, cheese, grated garlic, and lemon juice. Add as much or as little fresh cracked black pepper as you'd like. (I like a lot for that rich carbonara taste)
- Quickly pull out the bowl from the oven, put all of the hot pasta in the bowl, pour all of the asparagus and garlic and oil on top, then toss with tongs. While tossing, slowly pour in the egg mixture. Add some reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed. Make sure to keep tossing and get all of the egg mixture encorporated until smooth and creamy. Serve warm.